Nov 25, 2010

Day 10 and 11

Day 10 and 11:

Another double whammy post!

My parents! They are just the most amazing people on the planet. I love them to pieces.
I could go on and on about them but there aren't enough adjectives to well describe them!

love ya momsy and popsicle!

happy thanksgiving y'all!

Nov 23, 2010

Day 8 and 9

Day 8 and 9:
I am playing catch up with these posts in order to get back on track, so this is a double whammy!

Day 8: My Aunt Rita!

She is the wife of my recently passed Uncle David that I wrote about often in his battle with cancer. Rita and Uncle David got married when I was about 4 or 5 years old so I have no memories of Uncle David before she was around! With Aunt Rita came two new cousins as well- Jacob and Jessica (Jessi!) Jessi is mom to my ADORABLE two baby cousins Lilly and Layla that I have written about before too! (more on them later...)
I think the world of my Aunt Rita.. she is the perfect mix of sweet, funny, organized, teacher, mother, wife, aunt, (etc)... I love to sit and talk with her in her kitchen or help her bake. She is so wonderful to talk to and makes you feel like you are the only person on the planet because she gives you her undivided attention. She is a strong Christian women that adores her kids and her grand-babies with all her heart. I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Day 9:
These beautiful girls make my heart so happy! I don't get to see them as much as I would like but every time I do, I SO cherish it. My cousin Jessi is a great momma and I know her girls will grow up to be sweet, funny, smart, beautiful girls that love God and their family just as much as she does.
Lilly Catherine will be 3 in February, and Layla Kay will turn 1!

Nov 20, 2010

Day 7

Day 7:

I am SO thankful for the teachers I've had in the past 22 years of life! I went to a bunch of different schools through the years (2 elementary, 2 middle, 2 high schools and UF) and I was always so happy when I found a teacher that I could really connect with.
I had a rough time deciding to leave Douglas Anderson after my sophomore year of high school and moving to Wolfson High School but I'm so glad I made the move!

Especially because of teachers like Mrs. Force! She was my yearbook staff advisor/teacher, and I got to become really close with her in my two years at Wolfson. I was also president of DECA (a business club type deal) and she was our club advisor. This woman really inspired me and motivated me to do well in school and life in general. :) Miss her lots!

Day 6

Day 6:

Today is my last home football game as a UF student! So, today I am thankful for the opportunity I had to be a UF student! I am of course very thankful for Gator football too but we will just sum it up as being a student in general.

Here is a picture of me and steph as freshman at UF at our first, EVER, Gator game!
(it was like over 100 degrees that day... so hot!)

Nov 19, 2010

Day 4 and 5

Well, I definitely missed a couple days with my series-- in many thanks to my lack of dependable internet two days in a row!
But now I'm back in business... :)

Day 4:
Thankful for my dance group, Dancin' Gators!
I am SO going to miss this group when I graduate :(

Its been really cool for me to be able to keep dancing while i'm in college. It is such a passion of mine and I have made some really great friendships in this group too.

Here is a picture of a group of us in costumes before our show in the fall last year. We did a rendition of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" recorded by Fall out Boy.

Day 5:
Paynes Prairie... weird choice, I know. But it is a pretty cool place. Payne's Prairie info can be found here. I love to visit the park itself but also the boardwalk that takes you out onto the prairie. Some friends and I visited the prairie for the meteor shower the other night and went back at sunset yesterday. It's a really beautiful reminder of what the good ole' Florida outdoors looks like in its natural state.

This picture was taken during the meteor shower from the boardwalk on the prairie, by a friend of mine.

Nov 16, 2010

Thankful Series: Day 3

This post will be especially fun for those of you who are fellow GCA attenders! :)

For Day 3 of my thankful series I want to talk about Grace Church of Avondale!
A lot of you reading my blog will probably agree with me when I say that Grace Church is great place to be :)

A little church history about me-- I grew up going to church in Mandarin at Mandarin United Methodist with my parents. I LOVE that church as well but during college I started attending Grace. I first attended Grace with the Murphy family (also SO thankful for that amazingggg family) and my best friend Steph.
Over the past 4 years attending Grace I have met some really amazing people, heard some amazing testimonies, was challenged in my faith more than ever and felt a sense of community.

I think sometimes churches become comfortable in their checking the boxes routine... go to church (check) sing the songs (check) read a passage (check) shake pastors hand (check) attend a sunday school class (check)...etc. But at Grace I really felt from the moment I walked in that the people who attend are there because they want more than that in their sunday morning, and throughout their week.
They are seeking God on a higher level every single morning and they genuinely care about each other's needs.

When the church becomes too comfortable in a their "checking of the boxes" there is no room for growth. This isn't the case with Grace.

I am so thankful for Grace Church and the people who make up the church body. (which reminds me-- I am going to be there Sunday! woo hoo! it's been over 2 months!)

This picture is from VBS.. craft time with one of my girls in our class!

Nov 15, 2010

Thankful Series: Day 2

Day 2:

In light of our recent national holiday remembering and honoring those who have served our country in the name of freedom, I will say I am thankful for veterans. In my family I have many relatives that have served in the military, including my mom, dad, brother, cousin patrick, and others I'm sure I didn't know about.
But I think I am almost equally proud of the boys I grew up with through the years that have served over seas. It's kinda cool to see these guys do something so brave and then to watch them grow up and become so manly. (i feel funny saying that but it's so true!)

Two of my very close friends from church growing up, Alex and Thomas have both been to war a couple times and though Alex is back now in the states, Thomas is still overseas. I think about them all the time!

Alex and Thomas both are married now and I really love seeing them when they are home. I hope this holiday season I get to talk to them or hug them!

Here is Alex giving a speech (he is a talker for sure!) after getting promoted:

And here is Thomas and a friend in the desert on deployment, he is the TALL one (about 6'7")

You may have also heard of their friend, Corporal Tyler Southern that was welcomed home to the mandarin area recently after losing both legs in war. He stepped on explosives and was in critical condition for a while but is now home with his family! He has fully recovered and has prosthetics he is learning to walk with.

SO proud of these young men! :)

Nov 14, 2010

what i'm thankful for..

So in honor of Turkey day swiftly approaching us.... (food coma, yes please.)
I want to spend time to express what I'm thankful for this year!
I think I'm going to try and do one everyday until T-day gets here... that means you get 11 more days of my thankfulness! I would LOVE for you lovely people to also tell me what you're thankful for this year :)
I don't think I spend enough time telling the people I love what they mean to me-- maybe this will be a good way to start.

Day 1:

Many of you know I have much older siblings that have kids. So, as you can imagine I became an "aunt sam" at a pretty young age. I was in 4th grade when I found out my sister was having her first child, Blake. I love being Aunt Sam to Blake and his younger brother Evan. Blake just celebrated his 11th birthday in September (Evan turned 7 in August) and this picture of them is from Blake's family birthday party.
These boys have my heart!

On that same note, I have 4 other nephews from my brother! (boys totally outnumber the girls in this family!)
Two of them are his step sons that are a few years younger than me, Matt 2o and Collin 18. His two kids with his wife Susaine are Caden, 8 and Keaton, 5. I got to spend lots of time with these boys this summer in Tennessee when their family came to meet us there from Illinois.

My brother Mark, is in the Navy Reserves. The boys love to dress up in his jackets and gear! This was a couple years ago.

Nov 9, 2010

Jesus Gets Around

First off, just so you know the meaning behind the blog title... check out this pretty funny site I found today. I think it's worth checking out :)

And second, phone interview with Teach For America= success! Now to wait on the results and if I get asked back for the final face to face interview! The anticipation is killing me!

Third, Sneezy McSneezerton (aka my kitty) is all better! Thank you Mom for curing my baby of his sicky-ness. :)

Have a Great week!

Nov 4, 2010

sneezy mcsneezerton

my poor kitty is sneezing up a storm this week. he really gets his whole body into it (pre and post sneeze). i feel so bad for him!

in other news: i find out tonight if i get to move on to round two for Teach For America interviews! yikes! keep your fingers crossed for me :)

Nov 2, 2010

a life worth celebrating

As some of you know, I have been asking for prayers for my Uncle David battling prostate cancer.

On Monday October 25th he went to be with Jesus.

It was a long and hard battle- one that doesn't seem fair to me- but he is no longer suffering and is totally at peace now.
I find peace with knowing that.

I would obviously rather him still be with us-- healthy-- but with us. He was such a great man, brother, father, husband,uncle, grand daddy. He gave of his time to others, was fair, kind and a true man of wisdom and integrity. He worked in public schools for 34 years as a teacher and principal. His life inspires me and I could really see that he made a huge impact in his community.
Over 300 people came to his visitation on Thursday night. I'm thinking about that number or a little less were also there Friday morning to celebrate his life at the funeral. I was impressed by his small town's respect for his life and concern for his family he left behind.

I did, however, get to squeeze and play with my little cousins Lilly and Layla (2.5yrs and 8mos old) though.
All I could think about was that their grand daddy would ask me to do that because he couldn't anymore.

I also got to spend time with my older cousins and go out for dinner and drinks. Some times I think its weird that family only gets together when people die (last time we were all together was Granny's funeral) but I know that Granny and Uncle David would be up in Heaven saying, "Y'all need to get together and eat ya somethin'!"

Cancer frustrates me a lot, but thankfully I have peace knowing Uncle David was a true man of faith and he is finally home with his savior.

I'll miss you Uncle David :)